It’s taken me a little while to figure out what tools I need to ensure that I’m never far away from my blog. I’ve been caught short before, right in the middle of doing something or I’ve seen something and thought, now that’s a great idea for a blog. But I haven’t had anything to organise it, or to store it. That set me on my journey to find the tools I’d need.
As a blogger you’re always on the go, constantly thinking about your next blog post and what content you’re going to put in it. Sometimes this happens when you least want it to and you need to get it down somewhere, anywhere!
Every blogger has their tool box, a bunch of resources they need to go about their daily life, knowing that if they have that killer idea, they’ve got somewhere they can put it for later, or expand it when they next have 5 spare minutes. I think I’ve found it, and my resources are starting to come together.
See below for a peek inside my blogging toolbox and the 9 free apps I think every blogger needs.
WordPress is the premium app for bloggers, it allows you to do everything you would usually do on your laptop; post blogs, upload images, comment, and like. It’s like having your PC in your pocket. One of my favourite features of WordPress is the ‘Reader’ that comes with it. The reader compiles all of the blogs that you follow and sorts them into a timeline, think along the lines of Twitter, and allows you to pop in and read what you might have missed overnight or while you’ve been at work, it’s pretty neat.
I know that WordPress isn’t everyone’s favourite blogging platform but I’ve used it because it’s my favourite. If you use ‘Blogger’ or another platform just such for them inside your go-to app store.
Check out WordPress here
Social media is king, particularly when you want other people to see your content, I mean, that’s the reason isn’t it? Social media isn’t just a popularity content, it’s also a gateway to meeting a whole bunch of people who are like minded and who want to hear from you (it’s social, get it?).
I have found a whole new community on twitter, from authors, to publicists to other bloggers, and I’ve made some real connections with those I have contact with. It allows me access to lots of content I would never have encountered if it wasn’t for social media.
The search function is a great tool and it allows me to keep up to date with current topics such as book news or new blogs.
Personally I prefer twitter – I’ve never quite grasped Instagram – and it’s the first app I open on a morning. Usually while I’m having my coffee and trying to wake up. The twitter app is a must for me.
Feedly is an app I’ve only recently discovered and it’s changed the way I consume content. Feedly is an app that allows you to compile all of your favourite websites/blogs/news all in one place so you don’t have to switch between websites and muck around too much.
Feedly also allows you to organise your websites and sources of content by category, for example, marketing, SEO, and my favourite, fantasy. It’s just so easy to use, you type on your favourite website, hit the follow button and voila, you’re good to go.
Get Feedly here
Ah, my kryptonite, organisation *gasps in horror and recoils*. Blogging can sometimes me a major juggle between life and fun. I find this extremely difficult at the best of times and it has led me to be inconsistent on both fronts. Having a calendar that works for you is an absolute must. It allows you to plan your publishing schedule and make sure that you’re meeting any deadlines you may have. As a book blogger I have deadlines for book reviews, guest posts, excerpts and other fun things. A calendar has helped me massively.
What calendar you use is entirely up to you, it’s not a one size fits all deal. For example, colour coding doesn’t work for me and so I don’t need a calendar that has this feature. But it might be different for you. Go out and find what works for you.
I use my outlook calendar and it does what I need it to, with that in ind, I am looking for something better. My ears are pinned firmly back.
I love this app! Mindly is an app that will allow you to plan your content in the style of a mind map. It has helped me plan the kinds of posts that I’d like to do in the future (just like this one). It also allows you to colour code your posts if that’s what works for you. I found that after an hour with Mindly I had 8 posts planned, almost unheard of for me up to this point. If mind maps work for you then look no further.
Get Mindly here
I’ve read a lot of posts that say “take a notepad everywhere with you” so that you can jot down those great ideas that come to you when it’s the most inconvenient time, like in the queue at Boots (yes, I am speaking from experience). The problem for me was that I just couldn’t take a notepad everywhere with me. Apart from anything else, it wouldn’t fit in my pocket, and where would I put my pen?!
I tried to use the ‘Notes’ app on my phone – I use a Samsung S7 Edge – but it was just no good. Trying to transfer the notes to another medium and trying to access them on a different device was just not working. I eventually found Evernote (following a good old google search) and I haven’t looked back since.
Evernote allows you to create notes and email them, as well as scanning documents, saving them, and also gathering images. It’s a one stop note shop.
Find Evernote here
Canva is my go-to app when it comes to creating images for my posts. I love the versatility of the app and the vast array of customising options it gives you for your images. Whether it’s placing text over an image or creating a collage, it’s all possible with Canva. And what makes it better is that a lot of the content is free. You can search through a library of images, templates and texts, it’s a definite for me.
Get Canva here
The absolute essential tool for any blogger is email. I use Outlook and Gmail, both of which do exactly what I need; they show me my emails and allow me to reply quick as a flash. If you have more than one email address that you use regularly then it might be worth looking for an app that manages all of your emails in one place, something like mymail may be really useful for you.
Get Gmail here
This may sound like a strange one but YouTube is FULL of resources. Some of the most influential bloggers, booktubers and social media influencers are on YouTube, and there’s a reason for that, people consume A LOT of their information through video. so why can’t you? Just have a look through youtube and you’ll find so many people with the same interests as you that are doing some really good things. I have just started watching booktubers and it has me hooked!
So there you have it, my 9 free apps that every blogger needs. I’m still learning as I go and I’ll always try new apps to see what works for me, after all, it isn’t an exact science. I would urge you to go out and find what apps are best for you, we’re all different.
I’m also really keen to hear from you. Do you use any of these apps? If not, what would you recommend instead?
So please share and comment and let’s see if we can get some great resources, I’m dying for an excuse to download some new apps.